The agro-food industry faces two obligations : contributing to the safety and to the good quality of food. On the one hand, public regulations impose on firms specific conditions under which food must be produced and marketed. On the other hand, private standards of quality are strategically used by agro-food companies for differentiation. Norms and quality standards respond to growing consumer concerns for different issues such as the environment, Fair Trade1, animal welfare or simply the search of tasty food. Independent third-party entities often contribute to controlling the set of food quality standards and norms. This paper lists the range of existing certification schemes, showing evidence that the dominant system is based on third-party certifiers under public accreditation.
The notes published in the CEP Analyses series are 4 to 8 pages evaluative or prospective briefs aimed at the general public. Based on research reports, studies, expert opinions or data analysis and statistics, they propose an overview of a topical issue and favor comparative approaches.